Who’s In On This, This Week? #lockdowngoals

Good afternoon!

I hope you’re all well in the part of the world you are? And your family are too. So yesterday, I was inspired by Didi who is doing March’s WIP challenge, which looks good! I can’t wait to see her story. Then this morning I woke up with a creative “download” of my own. On my FB page I put this out to those I’m friends, with and wish to do it here too! Creatives take a look….target-1513758_640

Today’s the day I woke up with some creative downloads for a couple of projects 🤩. Anyone up for a WIP ( Works In Progress), writing OR creativity sprint with me today until the weekend? Last week I did one with Author Kristi Tailor. Let’s carry on.

It’s real easy, drop your creative goals in the comments, and let’s check in as the week progresses, and motivate each other. We’re all stuck at home, so let’s go and get some novels or novellas outlined or done! It can be anything you wish to do, no matter what as long as it’s creative. Here are my goals, a little ambitious but I’mma see what I can do in the next week.

1. Add 3k words to the 20k words of my crime thriller. Then submit the full plot outline to my publisher to consider.

2. Outline and change the direction of a short story I started to write for a different project. I now wish to make this the outline of book #1 of a crime/detective series! It’s going to be a ‘who-dun-it” thriller 🧐Then submit the outline to my publisher.

3. Outline one “billionaire romance” story! 💋😍I’ve never written one of these… but I got an idea.😆 I gotta hot billionaire in mind. 🤑💋

Now notice my goals are outlines of projects just to get started, and a small writing task to keep it realistic! And achievable. Set a goal of something you wish to make progress with.

DROP YOUR GOALS IF YOU’RE UP FOR THIS CREATIVE CHALLENGE, TAG OR MENTION OTHER WRITERS THAT MIGHT BE TOO, EVEN PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WRITERS BUT ‘CREATIVES’ OF SOME TYPE. I WILL TAG AUTHORS I WHO I THINK MAY BE UP FOR THIS. PASS THIS CHALLENGE TO ANYONE YOU WANT! LET’S GO!

👇👇👇👇

Writing Prompt: Local Flavour

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Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from, as though it’s an entry for a travel guide”

Brilliant writing prompt under today’s date in my book, I’ve never tried my hand at travel writing…so here goes! London, like the rest of the world is on some form of lock-down, due to the Coronvirus outbreak. I too am at home  and have been for eight days! Let’s pass sometime with today’s writing prompt and see if I can ‘sell’ my city as if I were a travel guide writer!

London…

London is the capital of the United Kingdom, and one of the most diverse cities of the world. The city is located in the southern part of the United Kingdom, and has a population of 8.9 million( as of 2018)  

The capital of the United Kingdom attracts many visitors and tourists each year, to date 39.7 million visits have been recorded to the ‘city that never sleeps’ at the time of this article. The diversity of London is great, and that’s what gives it the reputation of being one of the most welcoming, tolerant and culturally richest part of the United Kingdom.

There is plenty to see and do in this part of the country, the city is divided up into what’s known as ‘post codes’, similar to the zip codes of the USA and other parts of the world. The River Thames run’s directly through the city, and is what divides the capital up between north and south.

What is there to see and do?

Central London- ‘The West End’

This part of the capital is as the name describes, the  most central part of the city.  It is the financial hub of the country. London’s economy is based largely in the central part of London. Here you will find the famous landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street  and Soho. As well as many of the other well known ‘tourist attractions’ of the city.

The centre of London, or London’s ‘West End’ is a most see! And the ultimate starting point of any visitor to the wonderful and vibrant city. Tube lines ( subways) are easy to access and navigate around the capital. In addition, there are many bus routes, overhead trains and even local bike ride schemes to travel around the city.

London operates on a strictly no cash system on transport services, therefore you will need to obtain one of London’s Oyster Cards ( a travel card) and ‘top it up’ with money to pay for travel before hand. Or you can use your debit or credit card by touching in onto the screens, when you board any form of transport.

In central London, you will also find many theaters, restaurants bars, clubs and night life! In fact, London’s night light is highly sort after as an experience, and comparable to big cities such as Miami, Amsterdam, New York and Paris! But  London is the place to be.

Museum’s Parks and Attractions

The London Eye is London’s main attraction, located along Westminster Bridge, and a stone’s throw from the iconic Big Ben Clock, that London is recognised by. Here, visitors to the capital can experience  panoramic views across London, from the height of the ride’s wheel.  The ride itself is a large Ferris wheel, that moves at a smooth and comfortable speed allowing visitors to see the north, east, south and west of London. while located in the centre of London! Don’t miss this attraction. The nearest tube stations are Lambeth North, and Westminister Bridge.  Tickets must be purchased beforehand, arrive early to avoid queues.

London also has many picturesque parks such as Clapham Common ( south London), Richmond Park ( south London), Victoria Park (east London), Hamstead Heath ( north London) as well as parks in the city centre, located near the residence of the royal family.

In the city centre,  there are also museums for those who which to soak up the culture! Such as The National Gallery, along London’s South Bank you will also find The London South Bank Museum here.  Nearest stations are Trafalgar Square and Elephant and Castle which which are both walking distance.

Urban Life in London

London, would not be complete with out the underworld of ‘urban life’. Those who wish to experience the true unique, diverse and alternate culture of London, should head out the the tourist areas and visit Camden Town’s Market. Camden Town is a funky, diverse and cool part of London, not to be missed. Shops, restaurants, bars, and tattoo and alternate body art shops are all to be discovered. Nearest tube station is Camden Town.

Brixton Market located in the south London is a must see, and a very vibrant area to experience, where all races mingle and mix enjoying the ambiance of this part of the city. Nearest tube station is Brixton.

The August carnival to celebrate Afro-Caribbean culture in the capital, takes place on the Bank Holiday in August, at the end of the summer each year! This is one big street party, where there’s food, music, drinking and dancing along the streets of west London all Caribbean style. Don’t miss this iconic event, that has been part of London’s history since the large influx of Caribbeans who settled in the UK with the Windrush Era.

Safety While Traveling

London generally is a pretty safe place to explore,  safety should be taken with valuables as with any large city in the world, opportunists will strike and pick pocket if tourists are no alert ,and protective of possessions. Female travelers should feel safe, but should also take care and guard general safety.

Overall, London is  a great city! Home to many people from all over the world. Racism is not a big thing in this part of the country, compared to other parts. As the population is diverse and it is in this part of the UK, as with other large cities such as Birmingham and Manchester and Liverpool, that you will find the highest population of immigrants, as well as inhabitants that fall into the Black-British, or Asian-British, and Non-White category.

Visit London today! The best times of year are during the  spring and summer months typically from March- August.

 

How about it guys?? Who’s coming to London ( after the travel ban is lifted LOL), have I sold my part of the world to you?? Let’s see your travel guide pieces on where you’re from. Drop your links below I’d love to read them!!

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt- Places…

Welcome to March! Today’s writing prompt in book is simply answer… ‘beach, mountain, forest or somewhere else?’   This writing prompt called me so much! For me it’s all about here….

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I’m beach lover for so many reasons, not only is it beautiful to  be right  at the edge of a country or island, it’s just a stunning place visually, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for me. Here’s why I’d choose the beach over the mountains, forest or some other place.

I’m a water baby!

Through and through I just love the water. Be it the beach, pool, bath or shower lolz I can’t get enough  of it. I soak in the bath for ages, and  a five minute shower is unheard of for me. I find water actually really calming. Once, when I worked in the depths of south London the building was right across the road from one of south London’s popular parks. I would spend my lunch break right by the lake or make-shift pound you could call it. Even when it was a little chilly, I’d just wrap up and have my lunch there. It was at that point that I realised that the water calms me, and centres me.  The work environment at the particular place was very stressful. I also worked their while pregnant and I needed to get out and away.

Of course I love to swim too, one of my favourite forms of exercise and really wish I had more time for it. Overall, my ideal home would be right by the water. I am lucky that where I live now, I am by water. That said,  if I had a beach front house, or even lived within walking distance or a short drive from a beach I’d be on cloud nine. It’s just beautiful. I like to sit by the water and just …well…watch it. Listen to music, read, write whatever just being near.

When I’m on holiday I’m the kinda person to spend all day, and I mean all day at the beach, and then explore during the evening or later in the day. It’s pretty hard to tear me away I’ll just chill and people watch.

Ideally, if I could live anywhere in the world, it would also be somewhere with great beaches.

I like exotic and warm places!

Well…. I’m the author of  the ‘Romance Set in Paradise Series’ so that’s hardly surprising I like the exotic! But personally, I’m a warm blooded human, I love the sun and everything about it. Apart from difficulty with keeping my make-up on lolz. I really enjoy the warmer weather as I feel everyone is in a much better mood, and I am too.

Summer  and the beach to me is ‘fun’, ‘carefree’ and time to enjoy yourself and get out and about. Rather than be stuck in doors. I also find that there’s a hella-lot of great books released in the summer time.

Many of the places that I would to visit are parts of south America, the Caribbean, Thailand and I’d love to do a safari…from the safety of a very enclosed car though.

Spiritual, Mental and Emotional Well-Being

This can all be experienced from the beach. You can do Yoga, Pilates ( things I do do), and even peaceful meditations to the sounds of waves. Like I said I find the water and its motion very alluring to me. The water is also a great force of nature, it can be calm and welcoming but at the same time cause chaos! And even sadly, take lives. It must be respected.

Writing Inspiration…

If I ever become fortunate enough to live near a beach, a real beautiful one I think that inspiration to write would flow ‘like water’ LOL. Okay, that was a bit cliche but it’s the truth. And I don’t think I’d write stories set in just exotic or warm places. I genuinely feel being near water could motivate and inspire me.

Overall, I find the mountains too high for me I’m not great with heights,  and probably a bit chilly, I’m not great with that either. Hmm the  forest there could be creepy crawlies I’m not great with them either. I could never camp! So the beach suits me, my personality and how I can find inner peace and calm to a T.

What would you go with beach, mountains, forest or some place else? And why let me know?

Writing Prompt- Buffalo Nickel

Prompt- ‘search through your wallet, pockets, or down the back of the couch find the first penny you can. What year was it printed/made and what were you doing??

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The first penny I found in my purse was made in 2011… let’s step back

2011

Well that’s  nine years ago and back then I was twenty-eight years old, and life was so different, but how! In every way.

Appearance- I wish I had a picture, but in this age of technology the photos on my phone really don’t go back that far. I have also changed phones a number of times since then. But, what I can say is I had a short, straight bob just under my chin. I used to chemically straighten my curly hair too! My weight and height really has not changed. Still 5’5 and still a UK dress size 12-14.

Living- I was living in south London, in a beautiful one bedroom apartment with my then  partner. I was not a mother yet, and I guess at the time I thought I was happy. But I soon realised, nope I was not! Fast forward a few years I moved away from south London and became a mother.

Job- I was working at a local college, like a high school I guess you could call it. I loved my job, and most of the people I worked with. It was around this time that I would say, I was at my ‘peak’ in my nine- five working career. Before I started to take writing seriously.

What do I miss about the year 2011?-  in all honesty, nothing really when I think about the rat-race job I was doing, some of the unmotivated people I worked with, and how different I was as a woman, as in I was not in touch really with all the things I naturally love. Mainly due to the person I was with at the time, and trying to be everything to everyone else, but not true to myself. I can  honestly say over the last nine years I have  grown so much. I’m much more authentically me, happy and in a way glad that  I’m no longer stuck in south London, in the job I was in, or chemically straightening my hair as the damage it left, was unreal!

What’s been the biggest lessons since 2011- that when it really comes down to it, you really have to be true to yourself. If this means letting people, places and situations go for 1. your own sanity , peace, mental emotional and spiritual well-being then DO IT! And don’t feel bad. Secondly,  the universe works in very mysterious ways, it a-lines in ways to put you in a-linement. This means, removing people, places, situations and things that are not for your highest good. Then not only replacing them, but upgrading them too!

Lastly, people come into you life for a reason, some stay, some go, some teach you lessons about yourself and life. Pay attention. And always listen to your gut, no matter who thinks you’re crazy. If you feel called to do something or make some kind of change, it’s your intuition guiding you, never doubt it no matter how scary the change or new thing may be.

Would I change anything that has happened over the last nine years?– err good question. Some things I would BUT, when I think about it, if I changed these particular things I would not be on my path now. I honestly feel I’m now on the right path, so when I look at it like that I should be grateful for the last nine years. Even all the experiences that I would say ‘ yeah I’d change that’. It’s a big catch twenty two question.  I’d change maybe how giving I was to some folk, only for them to turn around and take that for granted. But everything else I’d keep it, as it honestly set me up nicely for my late thirties!

Pick a random penny, what’s the year and what were you doing? Drop a comment, or blog it and link it down below I’d love to know.

 

 

Writing Prompt- Plot of Earth…?

Prompt-  ‘You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please, what’s the plan?’

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what a wonderful idea! This really got me thinking, what would I do with unlimited resources and land? Many may say ‘build a house’ or do something for themselves, personally if I were ever luck enough to be in this situation, in all honesty I think I would…

Build a food kitchen, in the most poorest areas in third world countries.

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It breaks my heart to think that there are people out there with not enough to eat! Especially children. I think I would have to start in Africa and set up a place in different areas, where nutritious food is prepared and served daily. If there are  people in remote villages near by, who are unable to get to it, part of the service would be to bring the food the the village.

Build a few schools and invest in education….

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Education is so important to me, as an ex-high school teacher of ten years service I love to see people achieve! I think, I’d select some states across the USA with really low records of student achievement. Here, I would provide the resources needed to help increase students achievement.  Or even just build better and newer schools. In particular I would focus on marginalised students, who have learning difficulties.

In the UK we are pretty good with educational achievement, but one thing I do think the system lacks, sometimes, is enough classroom assistants to help support learners with learning needs. I’d invest in this, in the UK. Increasing the number of schools for those with special learning needs, that are very extreme it holds them back from mainstream school. In mainstream schools, I’d increase the money put into employing special needs assistants in mainstream schools. 1. to support the students in class 2. to help reduce some classroom stress and worry for teachers. Who often worry if their teaching is effective when there are learners with learning needs.

In other third world countries, I’d just build brand new schools! And focus on  increasing the level of students who are able to learn and have access to education.

If I had unlimited money, and land that’s what I’d do focus on feeding people, and increasing education.

 

Bad Reviews- In My View They Ain’t So Bad! #MFRW

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So it’s Monday and like clockwork I woke up at 7.00a.m after snoozing the alarm a few times, with a list as long as my arm, with things I want to complete today, in order to have a productive writing day. For one we’re one week into National Novel Writing Month, I’m participating this year, while I have 20,000 words down I’m still not quite happy with all of it, I have emails to respond to, one half of a story for The Suspenseful Collection #2 to write…. before tomorrow!  And let’s not forget the ‘day job writing’ also… I’m a translator by day!

Waking up to this list,  I knew today would be busy, right on cue my five year old son moseys into my room, jumps under the covers…”mama, I’m sick.” I sigh, roll my eyes, peel his warm five year old body off me and look him in the eye, then ask what’s wrong? He  holds his legs in the air like a tent under the covers. When he was born he had complications with his legs, now it’s fine but  I take his complaints seriously. I roll over thinking ” no school looks like today’s a sick day then, some much for productivity.”

It’s lunch time, what is he doing as I write this writing response?  Dancing and singing (rather loudly) to the Lion King movie, before that it was Frozen the movie. What else has he done today, given me firm instructions to leave my desk, to play kick the ball in the garden , attacked the washing line then ran around the house with my bra on his head, pretending he’s a “pirate of the Caribbean.” Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the little shit, boy… whoops sorry. He just fancies a day off to watch Disney all day, and disrupt his mama!

So I may as well do a writing prompt as it’s clear I won’t get to focus on any manuscripts until this evening after bed time…. sighs #shoutoutallparents.

 Bad Reviews, How They Can Help?

So bad reviews? The question  and writing prompt this week is how to overcome them. In all honesty, I don’t think bad reviews are really that bad as you grow as a writer. You soon learn that you can’t, should not try to, and DO NOT EVER want to try to write to please everyone, it’s impossible. If you do that, you’ll lose who you are as a writer,why YOU WRITE and you’ll have no idea of who you actually please- your target market and actually create sales, and a readership.

I also say this as I personally feel as a writer you get to a point where a bad review, you realise does so much more than make you feel bad if you have done the best you can on your work. 1. a review is a review whether good or bad, and sometimes the odd 1 star or someone not feelin’ your work shows a genuine picture or balanced picture. 2. a bad review can cause other people to pick up your book, out of curiosity anyway. How many times have you read reviews on somethings you wish to purchase, or a new product you wish to try and noticed the odd bad one or less positive review but decided ‘I think I want to give this a try, and see for myself.’ 3. it can also allow you to see what someone did not enjoy, genuinely as  long as they are not just on a bitchfest for no good reason.

So… how could you overcome a bad review?

I feel there  is the difference between a ‘moaning’ review and a genuine less positive review that’s more like ‘ this is critique that’s useful.’ I also feel it’s our job as a writer to weed out the two. If you can do this, that’s half the job of ‘overcoming’ a bad review. If the person is just going on, and on, and on, and on about why they hated your work with no real depth to it just…. just “hatin”’ on your work, disregard it and see that they are ‘moaning’. Instead pay attention to those who seem to be more realistic in their less positive review, and see what’s of use for you to know. Even then, take what’s helpful and leave the rest and focus on writing the next book.

Lastly, try  recognise if you have just sadly attracted the ‘wrong reader’ I hate to say this, sometimes it happens. It has happened to me, and I have also been the wrong type of reader for other books. This is when the book calls you,  the cover, blurb, genre whatever…you dive in and the connection is not there. If you can recognise within less positive reviews if this is ‘the wrong kind of reader, not someone you’d hope to attract or genuinely  a target reader’ for your work, this helps you to overcome bad reviews also. It is also helpful to define for  yourself as a writer who is, potentially could be, and definitely is not a target reader for you. Within the less positive reviews.

This is my honest approach to this subject that so many of us writers lose sleep over… a bad review pifff… I don’t allow it to bug me out so much these days. I take what I need and leave the rest, and know that it’s impossible to please all, and I would not ever want to, how the hell do I stand out if I do that?

Take what’s helpful, leave the rest. Just like when your work is rejected by a publisher, or an agent or an editor requests your work …but asks you to make what you would call major changes….that you’re not really feeling. Leave it if it does not help or changes your work too much in your view in a way you’d not really want it to. There will be someone out there that will say ‘yes, gimmie that’ as it is, you just have to find them.

Lastly, don’t ever lose your confidence over a bad review, once you develop that thick skin, this is impossible to happen anyway. But on the way to getting to this place of thick skinned and unflappable, don’t beat yourself up if someone did not connect, as remember you write for those that do connect.

 

Poem: Is She You?

 Reblogging this poem I wrote and blogged for all mothers a long, long time ago. Today in the UK it is Mother’s Day.  This Sunday, I’m celebrating and saluting all mothers, no matter where you are in the world. I feel blessed, I have a British and European day to celebrate motherhood! If you were celebrating with me today, I hope you have had a wonderful day.

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She, who is she? Is she me or you? If not you then she is who? All I know is she always says whatever it is I need to do …. trust me I’ll do. No matter the weather, no matter the stress her attitude is always “can do.”

Times get tough, troubled and unsettled waters maybe ahead, but does that make her see red?  Let me ask you a question, if you could do it all again in life would you? What would you seek to go back and re-do? You have a long list! Wow, my point, you have missed. Each experience is either a lesson, or blessing in disguise. Wrapped up in drama,  or feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  But  If you never travelled that road of drama, would you be able to hold your head this high?

Read between the lines you’re much better, you’re like titanium, and much more refined after all that drama you left behind. You’re now one of a kind, so leave those bitter memories behind.

Each day, look in the mirror and figure out what it is you must do, or what you want to do? What’s your next move?

Never be bitter or never be so unkind to yourself, so that you can’t read between the lines.

Gather your strength, keep your goals in mind, never look behind. I promise you with this wind under your wings you’ll fly. Now you must reach for the sky. Some days will be hard, you have the kids, work, school,  dinner to make, cleaning, the list never ends and the worst bit – everyone has their demands of you! You’ll want to scream hold up! What more do you want me to fucking do? Huh?  But remember it’s your strength,

That will see you through. So let me ask you again who is she? Is she me? Is she you? Oh she is you! Then get out there and do what you need to do. Remember Proverbs 31:25 now who is she?? Is she you?… Yeah, that’s what I thought, I knew you had it in you.

High five, keep going and do what you need to do.

 I just felt like writing. Salute to all the mothers, carers, breadwinners, goal makers and hard workers out there!

Kim.